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Putin proposes Russia, Japan sign historic peace treaty

AFP  |  Vladivostok (Russia) 

suggested Wednesday that and sign a peace treaty this year, ending War II hostilities "without any preconditions" as a territorial dispute has led to decades of deadlock.

But Putin's sudden proposal was received cooly in Japan, where a said the two countries should first resolve the dispute before signing a peace deal.

The dispute between and centres on four islands in the strategically-located Kuril chain which the occupied at the end of war in 1945 but are claimed by

It has kept the two countries from signing a peace accord that would formally end their wartime hostilities.

"We have been trying to solve the territorial dispute for 70 years. We've been holding talks for 70 years," Putin said at an economic forum in the far eastern Russian city of attended by Japanese and Chinese leader

"Shinzo said: 'let's change our approaches.' Let's! Let's conclude a peace agreement, not now but by year's end without any preconditions," Putin said, prompting the audience to break into applause.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, September 12 2018. 20:00 IST